It was the end of 2013, and as I told you in the last post, I started to make some changes in my life. After eight and a half years I was single again, so it was a perfect moment in life to start a know-yourself journey.
As it happens in a long relationship, both individuals tend to somehow blend their lives to some degree, what they want to do, how they spend their free time and so on, so once that is gone, there is plenty of room for discoveries and development. Hence, nothing better than traveling to clear up the mind and think properly about what the future looks like, retake thoughts, dreams and plans that seemed distant not long ago.
This was December 2013, I landed in Geneva for the second time, ready to spend New Year’s Eve there, and was excited to visit my dear friend whom I had met in London and with whom I had travelled to New York, Cusco, Milan and Venice. If you want to know her name you will have to keep reading.
Geneva is small city, but doesn’t fall short in charm, the centre has nice architecture, it is easy to explore, and the walks around the lake with the Jet d’Eau are beautiful, especially when there is blue sky and sun, adorning the surrounding view. However, in December it can be quite an empty city because a lot of people either return to their homelands for Christmas, or others rent a house in the mountains.
Our New Year’s party was at Little Buddha, dinner followed by dancing at the club downstairs, it was one of those nights when strangers became friends, and music was so good we only went back home around 4am.
Nightlife in Geneva is usually quite lively on weekends, so we spent some nights partying at The Baroque Club. One night, since at that time we both liked to drink Long Island Iced Tea, we found a little hidden bar where we had the best Long Island ever, shame that place doesn’t exist anymore, so it’s name will remain a secret 😉
Needless to say I had taken a bottle of Pisco with me from Peru, so there were nights when we stayed in and enjoyed some Chilcanos (drink made with Pisco) while watching a movie or simply catching up on what happened in our lives since we saw each other last time. The great thing of visiting friends is that you feel at home, there is no need to do crazy long days visiting lots of places. And even the most simple things like “walk the talk” or “home-made drinks” become the greatest parts of the trip.
But I indeed wanted to see the natural beauty Switzerland is known for. Since I come from the highlands of Peru, there is no better place in nature than mountains, even if at that point in time I wasn’t a hiker; there was something about the view, the snow covered picks drawing the skyline, the lake and the houses spread over the green, this is a view from tales. Interlaken was this and much more, I will let you judge by the pictures.
Taking the train from Geneva to Interlaken West is one of the nicest train rides I ever had. From there we took a ferry to Thun, from which you can take the train back to Geneva. The ferry ride lasts about three hours, enough time to enjoy the majestic views but also enough time to freeze your body and catch a cold, some things come in one package 🙂
Another alternative for a day out of Geneva is Montreux, which is easy to reach by train or driving, there are nice restaurants and cafes along lake Leman, and of course more beautiful views of the surrounding mountains, so quite a good option to relax.
That trip lasted three weeks, and I had been about two weeks the previous time, mostly living like a local in the Champel area in Geneva, doing the groceries at Coops, having breakfast at the café around the corner, sleeping till late, going for walks, taking some pictures, going to the cinema and shopping at Rue du Marché.
What I enjoyed the most were the long afternoon walks to see the Jet d’Eau whilst thinking about life ahead, feeling the cold breeze on my face, refreshing my thoughts and inspiring new ideas. I have nothing but warm feelings about my afternoon walks, maybe it was the freedom to be in a place so beautiful, and where everyone else is part of their own world.
It was there where I watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, if you are looking for movies that inspire to travel, I would strongly suggest you to watch this film, where places like Greenland and Iceland leave you breathless and enter instantly into the top of countries to visit one day. Those incredible landscapes made me think about daring to go out of the comfortable city travel experiences I had so far, however it would take a while until those thoughts and desires would crystallize and become a reality.
One of the curious things about Walter Mitty was that he day-dreamed often, sometimes the great things happening to him were just fantasy, and sometimes the not so great things were real experiences. In a world where what you see does not necessarily means it is true, you can wake up to realize that who was your greatest friend for years, suddenly just disappeared from the radar, without explanation and without a reason…
My friend and I hugged and laughed at the airport the day I left Geneva, a few weeks after she sent me some pictures, and then we never spoke again. Just like that, I never knew what happened, I never had a chance to wish her the best, never again could I call her for her birthday or christmas, she cancelled her number, deleted her profiles on social media, and apparently also blocked her email account.
I kept thinking for a while what happened, hoping she was good and everything worked out well in her life, but in time I understood that maybe that was what she needed to do. Then again that’s human nature, we think we know everything and everyone just by judging what we see, but we are all far more complex than what we show to the world.
That trip to Geneva was indeed the start of a new chapter in my life, for I had the pause I needed to clearly dream and plan a future, I could start to discover who I was and what I really wanted, I could prepare for more changes ahead. It has been so far an incredible journey, and there is much more for you to know.
So I am sorry to disappoint you, for you will never get to know my friend’s name, but you can get to know more things about me in the next stories. In the meantime…Hasta pronto! See you soon! Auf Wiedersehen! A presto! Au revoir! Adeus!